Verstappen achieves a record-breaking 14th win

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen continues to impress this season by winning the Mexico Grand Prix with ease and achieving a record-breaking 14th victory.

After acing the start from pole and once it became clear well ahead of the final laps that his medium tyres would hold on, Verstappen dominated to take victory and set a new record for single-season wins.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second position as the team tried an aggressive strategy but wasn’t fast enough to challenge or beat Verstappen.

Home hero Sergio Perez finished third position ahead of George Russell, with the Ferrari drivers a minute behind by the finish in fifth and sixth.

At the start, Verstappen launched well in front of Russell and swung right in front of the Mercedes on the very long run down to the first corner – with Russell gaining from the Red Bull’s slipstream to run ahead of Hamilton and Perez.

Just before they braked for Turn 1, Russell moved left to the outside line but ended up just following Verstappen through the right-hander and deep towards the grass runoff on the outside.

As Verstappen scampered through unopposed, Russell bounced over the kerbs at Turn 2, with Hamilton by this top alongside his teammate and getting ahead with better drive out of Turn 3.

There, Russell came along Hamilton but ran out of room and had to climb over the kerbs, therefore losing momentum and being jumped the quickly arriving Perez into Turn 4 at the end of the second straight.

Verstappen immediately moved out of DRS threat at the end of lap one of 71, with Hamilton giving chase having started on the medium tyres, as did Russell, compared to the used softs fitted to the two Red Bulls.

Over the next phase of the race, the gap between the leaders fluctuated slightly, but generally held around 1.5 seconds as Perez and Russell ran a few seconds further adrift and falling further behind over the course of the first stint.

Approaching the end of the race’s first quarter, Verstappen upped his pace in a bid to break the tow to the Mercedes, but Hamilton was able to hang on just over two seconds behind before the leader’s softs began to give up.

From a maximum of 2.4 seconds, Verstappen’s advantage was down to 1.6 seconds by the time he came in at the end of lap 25 – one lap after Perez had pitted and suffered a slow left-rear change that left him stationary for 5.0 seconds.

Running the more durable tyre, Mercedes left Hamilton out – his mediums showing none of the dark wear patches that had been evident on Verstappen’s left-front soft before he stopped.

But Hamilton only remained out for another four laps before he was brought in to switch to the hard tyres, with Mercedes instead leaving Russell out to complete a much longer first stint.

He therefore led until the end of lap 34, Verstappen cycling back into the lead at half-distance with a near seven-second lead and Hamilton under more pressure from Perez running closely behind – Checo having cleared the off-the-pace Ferrari pair after his slow stop.

Hamilton suggested the hards were not performing as well as the mediums he had given up, with Mercedes in turn implying performance drop-off logged at the end of his first stint might give him a chance to catch Verstappen late on.

That looked a mighty ask 15 laps into Hamilton’s second as he faced a near 10 seconds gap to the dominant leader, but at least able to keep Perez at arm’s length just a few seconds behind.

Indeed, the status quo continued to hold, with Hamilton questioning whether his hard tyre set was the right compound to be on and Mercedes insisting it was due to its added durability on a one-stopper.

But with Verstappen continuing to edge away by a few tenths each lap as the leaders made their way through traffic, with 15 laps left he had a lead of 12.1 seconds.

As it turned out, the Mercedes team’s hoped-for dramatic pace drop off for Red Bull never happened and Verstappen romped home to win by 15.1 seconds having completed a massive 46-lap final stint on the mediums.

A late race stoppage for Fernando Alonso, who had been running comfortably in seventh before an engine issue caused him to lose pace and eventually stop in the Turn 1 runoff, did not cause much of a disruption other than a short virtual safety car activation on laps 65-66 as the Alpine was quickly moved behind the barriers.

Perez ended up 2.9s behind Hamilton having fallen further behind shortly before the VSC, with Russell fourth and also vocally frustrated about having to run the hards in his second stint.

That ended up only being his middle stint as Mercedes pitted Russell to take the softs for a final lap shot at the fastest lap bonus point, which he duly secured with a one minute, 20.153 seconds.

Carlos Sainz led Charles Leclerc home in an anonymous race for Ferrari – the Spaniard ending up 58.8 seconds adrift of Verstappen and the only action for the pair involving Perez’s post-stop passing and Sainz doing likewise to Alonso after his own service to go from softs to mediums.

Leclerc the last car on the lead lap and 10 seconds behind his teammate, the drama to the finish concerned McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

He had produced the second-longest opening stint on the mediums in staying out until lap 45, after which he was rapid on the softs but made a bad error hitting Yuki Tsunoda at Turn 6 a few laps after his pitstop.

With the AlphaTauri retiring in the pits, Ricciardo was handed a 10s-time addition penalty, which he overcame with a sterling drive up the field after being waved by teammate Lando Norris, who was completing the medium-hard strategy.

Ricciardo produced pass after pass – including being part of a double move on Alonso into Turn 1 shortly before the Spaniard retired, with his teammate Esteban Ocon going by ahead of Ricciardo into Turn 1 before in turn being caught and passed by the honey badger.

In clear air from there, Ricciardo charged and eventually finished 12.1 sconds ahead of Ocon to negate his penalty.

Norris and Valtteri Bottas, who had dropped back on lap one after his fine qualifying and then battled the Alpines in the first and middle phases of the race before falling back, completing the top ten.

Tsunoda and Alonso were the race’s only retirements.

So not the most thrilling Mexico Grand Prix as Verstappen was in a different league compared to his rivals. To achieve 14 wins this season is unbelievable. Max is on fire this season with his winning form. Just two races left in this season of Formula 1 racing.

Mexico Grand Prix, race results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:38:36.729
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +15.186s
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull +18.097s
4 George Russell Mercedes +49.431s
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +58.123s
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +68.774s
7 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +1 lap
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine +1 lap
9 Lando Norris McLaren +1 lap
10 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +1 lap
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +1 lap
12 Alex Albon Williams +1 lap
13 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +1 lap
14 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +1 lap
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +1 lap
16 Mick Schumacher Haas +1 lap
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas +1 lap
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams +2 laps
– Fernando Alonso Alpine DNF
– Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri DNF

2 thoughts to “Verstappen achieves a record-breaking 14th win”

  1. Mexico Grand Prix race review as reported by

    Max Verstappen claimed his 14th victory of the 2022 season in the Mexico City Grand Prix, ahead of Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez, after an intriguing strategic battle played out at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

    It secures another record for the Dutchman in his burgeoning career, as he now boasts the most wins in a single F1 campaign, moving one clear of the 13 achieved by Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013).

    Verstappen, whose Red Bull team opted for a soft-medium tyre strategy, took the chequered flag some 15 seconds clear of Hamilton, who was left to question why Mercedes swapped their starting set of mediums for hards.

    Perez gave the home fans something to cheer about in third, having threatened to challenge Hamilton late on, while Russell – who lost out to his team mate at the start – took a distant fourth.

    Russell was also unhappy with his strategy, repeatedly asking Mercedes to pit again and ditch the hard tyres, which failed to bring the race back to the Silver Arrows in the closing stages – a stop for softs with two laps to run at least yielding the fastest lap.

    Ferrari endured a lacklustre race as Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc claimed lonely P5 and P6 finishes, ahead of McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo, who charged his way to seventh with soft tyres late on and kept the position despite a 10-second time penalty for a clash with Yuki Tsunoda.

    Esteban Ocon placed eighth, after a painful late retirement for Alpine team mate Fernando Alonso, as the other McLaren of Lando Norris and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas – not quite able to repeat his qualifying performance – completed the points.

    AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly picked up a five-second penalty for an early, aggressive move on Aston Martin rival Lance Stroll and ultimately missed out on a point by just half a second, with Alex Albon 12th for Williams.

    Zhou Guanyu got his Alfa Romeo to the line ahead of Aston Martin pair Vettel – sporting a touching tribute helmet to the late Dietrich Mateschitz – and Stroll, followed by the Haas cars of Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen.

    Williams driver Nicholas Latifi was the final finisher, with the aforementioned Alonso grinding to a halt with an engine issue late on, and Tsunoda retiring after briefly going airborne in his collision with Ricciardo.

    A sell-out crowd delivered a party atmosphere in the build up to Sunday’s race, with the every move of home hero Perez being enthusiastically cheered, as had been the case throughout practice and qualifying earlier in the weekend.

    But after experiencing technical problems throughout the qualifying hour, ‘Checo’ had to make do with fourth on the grid, lining up behind pole-sitting Red Bull team mate Verstappen and the Mercedes cars of Russell and Hamilton.

    Intriguingly, Verstappen and Perez opted for soft tyres to attack the run of more than 800 metres to Turn 1, with Russell and Hamilton going for mediums – meaning there would be an array of strategic permutations to keep an eye on as the encounter developed.

    At the back, Haas driver Magnussen started 19th with a five-place grid penalty for an engine change, with Aston Martin’s Stroll in P20 – having been docked three places for his clash with Alpine rival Alonso in Austin.

    When the lights went out and the 71-lap race roared into life, pole-sitter Verstappen made a clean getaway to defend from the Mercedes drivers off the line and down to Turn 1, before Hamilton pounced on Russell in the middle of the first chicane to take P2.

    Perez then got a run on Russell exiting the tight Turn 1-2-3 complex and, having jumped out of the slipstream, swept around the outside of his rival at Turn 4, sparking another deafening roar in the grandstands lining the circuit as he moved into the podium places.

    Sainz held fifth in his Ferrari, with the Alfa Romeo of qualifying star Bottas dropping back to eighth, behind the other F1-75 of Leclerc and between the Alpines of Alonso and Ocon – McLaren driver Norris rounding out the top 10.

    In the early laps, Hamilton went with leader Verstappen and initially sat little more than a second adrift of his 2021 title rival, before dropping back by a few tenths – engine cooling a crucial factor for consideration amid the high altitude and warm temperatures.

    “You just need to try and break this tow. You’re doing a great job,” was the message to Verstappen shortly afterwards, with almost two seconds separating himself and Hamilton by Lap 10, when attention started to turn to the pit stops.

    Some drama in the midfield involved Gasly forcing his way past Stroll under braking for Turn 4 on Lap 14, but the stewards quickly determined that the AlphaTauri driver had forced the Aston Martin off the track and handed him a five-second time penalty.

    While Verstappen continued to edge away from Hamilton up front, Perez sat around six seconds off the lead, and Russell 7.5s, as Sainz and Leclerc settled into a quiet race of their own – the Ferraris struggling to live with the pace of the Red Bull and Mercedes machines.

    As the race moved past the 20-lap mark, Verstappen reported some tyre concerns – at one point stating “the left front doesn’t want to turn” – with Red Bull stretching out their opening stint on softs and the Mercedes duo biding their time on the more durable mediums.

    Perez was the first of the front-runners to pit on Lap 24, swapping his softs for mediums in a tardy five-second stop due to a sticking rear-left tyre, with Verstappen pitting two laps later, releasing Hamilton and Russell into the lead.

    While Perez fell behind yet-to-stop Ferrari pair Sainz and Leclerc, forcing him to pull off some extra overtaking (and spark further cheers from the home fans), Verstappen slotted into P3, some 20 seconds off new leader Hamilton, who reported that “my tyres are okay”.

    Nonetheless, on Lap 30, Hamilton and Mercedes decided it was time to pit, switching from mediums to hards, while Russell asked to extend his stint and aim to bolt on a set of softs in the closing stages of the race.

    Russell temporarily led Verstappen by some 10 seconds, with Hamilton six seconds further back but lighting up the timing screens on the harder tyres – giving his team mate some extra information to consider ahead of his own stop.

    Russell’s soft tyre ambitions were short-lived as he boxed on Lap 35 to follow Hamilton onto the hard tyres, rejoining the action in fourth, around 16 seconds off the lead, before being told to “lift and coast” for the remainder of the race.

    His initially competitive pace on the hards fading, Hamilton reported that they did not feel as comfortable as the mediums, and Russell soon joined him on the radio to question the strategic move – but Mercedes sought to reassure both drivers that the race would come back to them.

    Further back, Sainz and Leclerc continued their race as the ‘best of the rest’, as Ocon joined Alonso in getting past Bottas with a fine move to put the Alpines in P7 and P8 respectively – Norris keeping his hands on the final point with 20 laps to run.

    On Lap 51, Norris’s team mate, Ricciardo, tipped the AlphaTauri of Tsunoda into the air at Turn 6 amid a fierce wheel-to-wheel scrap, prompting the stewards to hand the Australian a 10-second time penalty – the AlphaTauri man pitting to retire his damaged car.

    But the punishment appeared to fire Ricciardo up, as he used his relatively fresh soft tyres to pass Norris, Bottas, Alonso and Ocon, moving up to P7 and doing all he could to build enough of a margin and still emerge with some points.

    As the race entered its final 15 laps, Verstappen found himself leading Hamilton by more than 10 seconds, while Perez closed in on the Mercedes in a bid to bag another Red Bull one-two finish – both Hamilton and Russell continuing to question the medium-hard strategy.

    Despite further reassurances from the Mercedes pit wall that the race would come their way, in the form of the Red Bulls hitting late tyre trouble, Verstappen had no such problems and eked out a 15-second winning margin.

    Perez was unable to reel in Hamilton for P2, but at least made the podium in his home race, while Russell pitted with two laps to run to bolt on a set of softs and score an extra point with the fastest lap.

    Sainz and Leclerc finished around a minute behind Verstappen, while Ricciardo did just enough to build the required 10-second margin over Ocon for P7, as Norris and Bottas rounded out the points-paying positions.

    Alonso had been firmly in that fight behind the Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari cars, but a failure failure with just six laps to go ended his afternoon, and added a fresh twist in the battle for P4 in the constructors’ standings.

    Gasly and Albon narrowly missed out on points for AlphaTauri and Williams, with Zhou having to settle for P13 in the second Alfa Romeo, followed by the Aston Martins of Vettel and Stroll.

    Haas also left empty-handed as Schumacher led Magnussen home in P16 and P17 respectively, with Latifi the last driver to take the chequered flag after Alonso and Tsunoda’s retirements.

  2. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton admitted that Red Bull was way “too fast” for the team to beat in Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix. has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton conceded that Red Bull was “too fast” for Mercedes to beat in Formula 1’s Mexican Grand Prix, after its hopes of a strategic victory failed to pay off.

    Both Hamilton and George Russell began the race on medium tyres with Mercedes trying to counter Red Bull’s start on the soft rubber, as Max Verstappen wanted to cover off the threat of a run into the first corner.

    Although it seemed that Mercedes was going to attempt to go long into the race on the mediums and switch to softs at the end, the team instead made the jump to hards with Hamilton before half-distance, with Russell following suit.

    The pair could occasionally match the Red Bulls on pace, but the gambit of waiting for the medium tyres on Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s cars to fade away did not work as tyre wear proved low throughout the race.

    “I was so close I think in that first stint,” Hamilton said of his initial stint on the medium tyres, “but I think the Red Bull was just clearly too fast today. Ultimately maybe they had the better tyre strategy.

    “I’m not sure [the hard] was the right tyre in the end. I thought we should have started on the soft, obviously we had the opposite tyre.

    “It was OK in the first stint, but the hard tyre was just offset. Congratulations to Max, it’s great to be up here and separate the two.”

    Hamilton had to be content with second, 15s off Verstappen by the end as the Red Bull pace showed little sign of dying down.

    The Briton had been around two seconds behind Verstappen on the opening stint as the race settled down, but was unable to arrest the steady progression of the gap out in front.

    Verstappen then made a gain of time in the pitstop phase and got his lead to over 10s as Hamilton struggled to stabilise the gap on the hard tyres. This grew amid the virtual safety car period for Fernando Alonso, as the Alpine driver’s engine died in the late stages of the race.

    Perez had got close to Hamilton in the second phase of the race, even getting to within DRS range, but the Mexican was unable to find a way past at his home race.

    “I gave my best today, and really pushed hard,” Perez said after the race. “[But] overtaking is so difficult. As soon as I got behind him, it was really difficult to follow. I had to take third.”

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